Four Gators had great performances on Thursday night in NFL preseason action.
How awesome is it to not only see Ingram healthy and back on the field, but grabbing a touchdown? The former Gator tight end and Hawthorne star finished with two catches for 45 yards and this 25-yard touchdown from fourth-string quarterback Adam Weber. I know it’s only preseason, but that score has to do wonders for C.I., who’s suffered from multiple ACL tears. Ingram led the team in receiving yards and tied for a team-high four targets. Ingram also caught a 20-yard pass from second-string quarterback Caleb Hanie in the second quarter.
Right defensive end Xavier Brown just had to know something was up when Rainey pretended to block him on a 3rd-and-7 pass play. The diminutive running back put his hands up, then slipped out for a quick pass from fourth-string quarterback Jerrod Johnson. The rest didn’t surprise anyone as Rainey weaved his way through the Eagles’ defense, showing off his jukes and speed before diving in for this 57-yard touchdown. Rainey finished with two catches for 65 yards and that touchdown. His other reception went for eight yards on a short pass over the middle from Ben Roethlisberger. He didn’t have an impressive game running the ball, carrying it four times for one yard. However, people have been saying Rainey is a threat to score every time he touches the ball, and he showed why last night.
Again, it’s only preseason but for a receiver that was as criticized as Thompson was coming out of UF, last night’s effort against the Falcons was huge for the speedster. Thompson had three catches for 53 yards and this 22-yard touchdown grab in the back of the end zone from Curtis Painter. He also led all wideouts with six targets. Thompson turned in a 22-yard catch from second-string quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the second quarter, and a 9-yard pass from Taylor in the third quarter. Thompson is listed as a sixth-string receiver on the team’s depth chart, but the team has said that it likes his speed and he could make his mark as a deep threat. Baltimore does have one in Torrey Smith, but whether they decide to keep another burner is yet to be determined.
The former Gator safety spoiled Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s debut with this interception in the red zone. Manning marched Denver down the field on an impressive debut drive before Wright came up with the ball after it was deflected off of receiver Eric Decker on 3rd-and-8 from the 12-yard line. Wright finished the game with three tackles and two passes defensed to go with the pick. Unlike Ingram and Thompson, Wright isn’t as worried about making the Bears’ roster. Wright is Chicago’s starting free safety alongside free safety Chris Conte. Last season, Wright finished with 58 tackles and three interceptions, returning one 24 yards for a touchdown against the Lions on Nov. 13.